Finding an Internship Where You Least Expect It

Read about our member’s journey to finding to the perfect internship told by the PRSSA Blog Team.

By: Dillon Avnet

Like many students in college, I’d be lying if I did not admit that I was definitely worried about what I would need to do to secure an internship. I knew I wanted one eventually, but I had no idea how to even look for one. There are so many internships available to college students, but how was I supposed to find one that was the right internship for me? I attended many internship panels and I did multiple online searches, but I was not satisfied with what I was finding.

Ever since I was in high school, I’ve liked to produce videos. I know how to work cameras, I know how to navigate editing software, and I enjoy spending my time putting together footage. It feels like a puzzle to me and I wanted to tackle that in my internship. I am an IMC major, however, and many of the internships I was looking into for my major did not include video production. Frustrated, I went and talked with my Dad who
owns and runs his own company in New York City. I was hoping he would be able to point me in the direction of an internship that would not only meet the needs of a college student, but also would be in my area of interest. My father did give me many networking opportunities and avenues that would hopefully lead me to what I was looking for. My father gave me another option as well, and that was to work for his company as a strategic
communications intern.

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The offer my father made did peak my interest, but I also had my concerns. For one, I was hesitant to work for my father. On one hand, I did not want it to look like I depended on my father to get me an internship. I was afraid my peers and my co-workers would look down on me and think I took the easy way out. On the other hand, if I did work for my father, I was worried my work would not meet his standards. I wanted to show my father that I was not working for him because I was his son, but because I was genuinely interested in doing good work and learning from a business I didn’t understand.

My father’s company is Compliance Risk Concepts, which identifies financial risks and advises its clients on the procedures they should instill into their organization to avoid potential issues. My father’s company wanted me to make promotional videos of Compliance Risk Concepts for potential clients. This seemed like it was in the same ballpark of what I wanted to do for my desired internship. I decided that despite my worries of what people thought of me, this was too good of an offer to turn down. I took the internship and started working at Compliance Risk Concepts in December of 2015.

Today, I am currently producing weekly promotional videos for Compliance Risk Concepts. When I have breaks, I typically go into New York City and work at the office. When I am in the city, I shoot interviews with the “CRC” team and its clients, which I then compile together into one video. Once the video blogs are completed, they are released onto all of Compliance Risk Concepts social media outlets. When I am at school, CRC sends me footage to splice together, so that I am still able to produce a weekly video. While the financial content of the video is complex and hard for me to understand at times, I do receive help from CRC regarding content I don’t understand, which they then provide explanations.

I am confident to say that I am learning something new every day. For example, I had no idea what FINRA was until I started to work at this internship. FINRA is a member regulation, enforcement and arbitration operations of the New York Stock Exchange. This is just one example of something that I learned and I am sure that there is still plenty of information I have yet to understand. That is what makes this internship so exciting. I am very satisfied with being able to do work in my comfort zone in an area outside of my comfort zone. I plan on continuing my internship at Compliance Risk Concepts this summer. If there is one thing to take away from this experience, I would say that internships can be found in places that you least expect. I encourage anyone looking for a specific internship to keep looking and to not settle until you are able to find the right one for you. I would recommend not to do an internship because you need one, but to work at an internship because it interests you and you can see a potential career in it.

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